Rosemary Laing

bulletproofglass #2, 2001
Type C photograph on metallic photographic paper. No. 2 from an edition of 10
120 x 253 cm


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Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney

Another example of this work was exhibited:
Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney 2002
'The Unquiet Landscapes of Rosemary Laing', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 23 March - 5 June 2005 (this work was included)

Amongst many publications this work was illustrated in:
'The Unquiet Landscapes of Rosemary Laing', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, exhibition catalogue, illus. p.77

This haunting, poetically charged photograph is part of Rosemary Laing's seminal bulletproofglass series. Laing first showed this series in New York in 2002, where it was heralded a 'must-see' exhibition by the New York Times. The suite was also included in the artist's survey exhibition 'The Unquiet Landscapes of Rosemary Laing' at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005. The artist's large-scale panoramic prints present a fresh take on the traditions of portrait and landscape photography. In bulletproofglass #2 we see a women suspended in the air against a brilliant cloud-filled sky. Her white bridal gown - ballooned into a kind of parachute - adds a further touch of the surreal to the scene.

When this bride appeared in Laing's 1999 series of work 'Flight Research', she was cast against a clear blue sky. However, in the 2002 bulletproofglass works, the forecast is ominous and the bride appears bloodied. This shift is said to signify what Laing considered to be dark events of the intervening years, including the failure of Australia's republican referendum, the Sydney bushfires of 2001 as well as global disasters like the September 11 attacks.

This work is a stunning example of Laing's signature artistic approach, which involves staging elaborate physical interventions and installations within the landscape. The uniqueness of this approach lies in the use of real time events, rather than effects achieved through digital manipulation. Working with a large crew of collaborators, the scale and process of Laing's undertakings can be compared to that of a film shoot. Furthermore, by recording the events in process, these dramatic images often resemble film stills, or what the artist refers to as "distillations of time".

artwork bulletproofglass #2 by Rosemary Laing

Courtesy of the artist

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